This guide to photography games will help you find creative ways to hone your snapping skills.
Most people think that taking pictures is a piece of cake. All you have to do is point your camera and shoot.
Yet, there’s much more to photography than that. You have to consider the lighting, aspect ratios, and capture speed, among the other photography skills.
Learning the ins and outs of these factors can be a little tedious. Although, it doesn’t have to be….
Did you know you can master all of these skills using photography games?
I’ve scoured the Internet for the best photography games available, and I found many options for both adults and children.
In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the most exciting games that can help you take better pictures.
Table of Contents
What Are the Best Photography Games in 2023?
There are hundreds of photography games on the market today. Each one approaches taking pictures in a different way.
This can make choosing one a little tricky. So, to make your life easier, I’ve compiled a list of the best 15 games out there:
1. New Pokemon Snap (Best Photography Games for Kids)
- Game developer: Bandai Namco Studios
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
If you’re a fan of Pokemon, I’ve got the perfect photography game for you. New Pokemon Snap takes you on a magical safari ride through Lental.
It’s a quiet region with plenty of stunning greenery, and, of course, incredible creatures. As you cruise around in the NEO-ONE, you’ll get to take in all these views.
Plus, you have a camera with you. So, you’ll be able to snap shots of the Pokemon.
Besides that, you can interact with the critters. You get the option to throw apples and other treats to grab their attention and get better angles for your pictures.
Some Pokemon will even get a special glow that’ll earn you more points.
Once you’re done with the tour, you’ll turn your images over to Professor Mirror. He’ll then judge the shots and give you a score.
2. Penko Park (Best Photography Games for Students)
- Game developer: Ghostbutter
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Imagine this: You’re walking through an abandoned wildlife park, late at night, and suddenly, you hear rustling in the background.
Just as your heart rate doubles, you see a cute creature jump out of the bushes. At first, it may give you a little scare, but you’ll soon lose all fear looking at the adorable animal.
Penko Park is a unique game that seamlessly blends horror and a touch of whimsy. You’ll be able to explore the area in search of rare species and snap all sorts of pictures.
Each photo will earn you a little XP. Depending on how you frame the images and the pose you manage to capture, your score will change.
You can then use these points to unlock new abilities and improve your gear.
The best part of this game is the horror aspect. Not only does it keep the pastime exciting, but it’ll also give you an adrenaline rush.
This can help sharpen your senses, which should mean better shots.
3. Umurangi Generation (Best Photography Games for Adults)
- Game developer: Naphtali Faulkner
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
Most photography video games will take you through brightly colored landscapes with cheerful backgrounds.
Yet, if you’re in the market for something with slightly darker undertones, Umurangi Generation may be for you.
At the start of the game, you learn that you’re a Maori courier living in New Zealand. Sounds wholesome so far, but there’s a twist.
The main character is in the middle of a crisis. So, you’ll have to navigate the area and uncover different clues.
That may include taking pictures of documents, chaos, and graffiti.
As you snap more shots, you slowly peel back the layers of the story. Plus, the developers sprinkled in a little political commentary.
So, not only do you get to sharpen your photography skills, but you can learn more about the world.
4. Life Is Strange (Best Mobile App Photo Games)
- Game developer: Don’t Nod, Deck Nine
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
Most people have imagined what they’d do if they could go back in time. Well, with Life Is Strange, you can test it out for yourself.
The game follows Max, who’s a photography student in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. After she discovers that she can rewind time, things get interesting quickly.
You travel with Max as she navigates different aspects of her life, like school and friends. While you do that, you’ll be able to take pictures of your surroundings.
These images will help you collect points that you need to push the story forward.
Moving on, I know what you’re thinking. With time travel, the game is bound to go in a loop and be a bit repetitive.
However, that’s not the case. Every decision you make in-game will alter the sequence of events. So, it’s like playing a new game when you travel through time.
5. GuruShots (Best Online Photography Game)
- Game developer: GuruShots
- Platforms: Online
If you want to test out your photography skills in the real world, GuruShots can help with that. It’s a game that’s structured as a competition.
People from all over the world will venture out and take pictures with a wide variety of themes and undertones.
Then, they submit them online and share the shots with the public. After that, other GuruShots users will vote to rank your images.
Depending on how many votes you get, you can unlock certain achievements. Through that, you can advance from a Newbie to a Rookie or Challenger.
Yet, that’s not where the game ends. If you advance to the Guru level, you can create your own photography challenges.
With this feature, you get to choose your own criteria and scoring system. So, you may judge aspects like shutter speed, frame rate, aperture, and depth of field.
6. Phasmophobia (Interesting Photography Games for Parties)
- Game developer: Kinetic Games
- Platforms: PC, Xbox, PlayStation 5
Ghostbusters was one of the most popular shows on TV for years. It raised many generations of paranormal investigators and spirit hunters.
So, if that describes you, then you’ll love Phasmophobia. This game sends you out to haunted houses and asks you to deal with the disturbances.
You’ll have to walk through dark hallways and empty rooms in search of a ghost or creature. Once you locate them, you need to complete a few tasks.
That may include setting up an EMF reader or a spirit box, and, of course, snapping a shot of the ghost.
Each task you complete will earn you money. You can then use the cash to upgrade your equipment and get better pictures of the phantom.
So far, the game sounds thrilling, but I haven’t gotten to the best part yet. The ghosts in the game can interact with the players.
They can knock them down and even take them out of the game altogether. Because of that, you have to advance carefully and look over your shoulders the entire time.
Finally, Phasmophobia allows more than one player to join in on the fun. For that reason, it may be the perfect game for your next party.
7. Beyond Good & Evil (Best Photo Game for Exploration)
- Game developer: Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft, Ubisoft Shanghai
- Platforms: GameCube, PC, Xbox, PlayStation 3
One of the best aspects of playing video games is getting to explore a new world. So, if you’d like to do that while practicing photography, try out Beyond Good & Evil.
The game follows Jade, a photojournalist and orphanage operator. After being pulled into a political uprising, she must find her bearings and figure out how to survive.
To do that, you’ll need to journey through caves and dungeons and uncover clues. The gameplay has an almost Zelda-like feel when it comes to the exploration aspect.
Besides that, you can earn giant pearls to upgrade your hovercraft and other gear.
Although, you have to remember this game is a bit old. So, the graphics are a little lacking.
Yet, with the rousing pace and countless objectives, you won’t even notice the dated visuals.
8. Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly (Best Photo Game for Survival Horror)
- Game developer: Tecmo
- Platforms: Xbox, PlayStation
The original game, Fatal Frame, was a moderate success, but the world felt slightly limited. Thankfully, with the release of the second version, that wasn’t an issue.
Crimson Butterfly follows twin sisters Mio and Mayu. After losing their way while on a picnic, they find themselves deep in the Japanese forest mountains.
That’s when the scenery shifts to a nighttime landscape, with plenty of secrets hiding behind the bushes.
As the twins make their way trying to find home, they run into all sorts of creatures. From evil spirits to terrifying ghosts, there’s no shortage of antagonists.
The only way to get rid of these phantoms is with an enchanted camera. You’ll have to use the mystical Camera Obscura to clear a path back to safety.
With this game, you’ll get many jump scares and scary moments. Yet, there’s a somber backstory with a heart-wrenching ending.
Because of that, you’ll find yourself racing to the finish line.
9. Snapshot (Best Photography Game for PC)
- Game developer: Retro Affect
- Platforms: PC
If you’re a fan of puzzle games, Snapshot may be the ideal pastime for you. It blends elements of virtual photography with interesting riddles and mysteries.
The main story focuses on Pic, a friendly robot that goes on an epic adventure. Their chief objective is to find prestigious animals in the vast landscape.
To do that, Pic has to research, prepare, and photograph. The only tool that you have to help you through the harrowing journey is a camera.
However, this device has a few special functions. You can use it to remove objects, replace items, and rotate your surroundings.
Plus, we can’t forget about the camera’s ability to snap pictures.
Moving on, Snapshot also involves an element of dice management. So, it’s also a game of chance.
Depending on how lucky your throws are, you’ll unlock achievements and discover new areas.
10. The Good Life (Funny Photo Game)
- Game developer: White Owls
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One
The Good Life is sort of a life sim game with a murder mystery angle. You play as Naomi Hayward, an American photojournalist.
At the start of the game, you find out that she’s in a lot of debt. The fastest way to get out of this jam is to travel to Rainy Woods.
Since everyone advertised the location as the happiest town in the world, Naomi felt like it was a good idea to move.
Yet, she soon finds out that there’s much more to the story. The locals all have a dark secret.
As soon as the clock hits 11 p.m., everyone turns into an animal. But luckily, Naomi has her camera and is ready to get to the bottom of this mystery.
You’ll need to walk around town and complete various tasks. While you do that, you can earn points by snapping images of specific items.
On top of that, once you advance in the game, you can shift into animal form. This will give you a whole new perspective of the town.
From the outside, the game seems like a gloomy case of whodunnit. However, this couldn’t be further away from the truth.
Throughout the story, there are countless hilarious moments. The game doesn’t shy away from putting Naomi in awkward situations that’ll leave you cackling.
11. Afrika (Best Game for Wildlife Photography)
- Game developer: Rhino Studios
- Platforms: PlayStation 3
Picture this: You’re in the heart of Africa, embarking on a wild safari to see some of the world’s most exotic animals.
Well, with Afrika, you can spend your afternoon living out this fantasy. The game has a pretty simple premise; you explore landscapes and take various images.
Yet, there are many aspects that make the gameplay exciting. For starters, the animal animation is top-notch.
You can get lost in the visuals and how much detail is in every frame. On top of that, the animal behavior simulation is eerily accurate.
The beasts will kick their hooves in the ground and approach you carefully. Because of that, you may even forget that you’re playing a game altogether.
However, the most compelling element of the game is the camera. You’ll get all sorts of information on the device and the lenses you can use to capture different scenes.
12. Bugsnax (Best for Adventure Photography)
- Game developer: Young Horses
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
If you’re looking for an action-packed game, Bugsnax has you covered. The story starts in Snaktooth Island.
It’s a magical place with many incredible sights and creatures. You play as one of the grumpuses, which is a race of anthropomorphic animals with colorful fur.
In the game, your main objective is to capture the images of Bugsnax. If you haven’t already guessed from the name, these are creatures that are half bug, half snack.
For instance, you may find a strawberry spider running around on the island. Plus, the critters can be a little shy.
So, you’ll have to take pictures while you’re on the move.
13. Photography Simulator (Best Game for Virtual Photography)
- Game developer: Madnetic Games
- Platforms: PC
Most of the games on the list involve a lot of stories and elements besides photography mechanics. This can be a deterrent to many shutterbugs.
So, if you’re after a game that only focuses on taking pictures, then Photography Simulator is an excellent choice.
It’s a first-person perspective game, where you can explore all your surroundings. While you do that, you’ll need to capture stunning images to earn a living and advance your career.
Since there isn’t much story to this game, you can shift your attention to your camera work. You’ll get access to many controls that help you take the best pictures possible.
14. Eastshade (Best Photo Game for Calming Scenery)
- Game developer: Eastshade Studios, Domini Games
- Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox
Photography can be an intense hobby, but it can also be exceptionally relaxing. So, if you want to spend your afternoons unwinding, Eastshade can help you out.
It’s a slow-paced, first-person perspective game with a puzzle element. You’ll need to travel through the terrain and find certain objects.
The games will take you through many stunning locations with dazzling colors.
15. Lushfoil Photography Sim (Best Photo Games for Real World Adventure)
- Game developer: Unreal Engine 5
- Platforms: Xbox, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
The last game on the list isn’t on the market yet, but it deserves a shout-out. Lushfoil Photography Sim is an adventure game where your only task is to take pictures.
Although, you won’t go through mystical forests or magical lands. Instead, the game will take you through digitized real-life environments across the world.
You get to see the sites from the perspective of a hiker. So, if backpacking around the globe is on your bucket list, this game can get you a little closer to your goal.
That way, you can explore countless natural habitats from the comfort of your home.